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    SubjectRe: New Linux distribution - PSL
    What a good explaination of whatewer I wanted to say! :))
    CC'd to PSL maillist.

    Twylite wrote:
    > I think you're missing the point - I will admit that I haven't tried
    > the latest RedHat version(s) ; but then you've conceeded that RedHat
    > doesn't go heavy on security - its just that there is no 'out the box
    > usable' distribution of Linux.
    > No matter what distribution I download, I have to spend a fair amount
    > of time customising and tweaking and (especially) patching and getting
    > the latest binaries in order to do what I need to do. In the most
    > recent case, that involved settings up a (fairly secure) non-routing
    > gateway that would provide SMTP, POP, a squid proxy, and SMB access to
    > the machines on our LAN. Its not a tall order - but it involves at
    > least the download or squid and samba separately, and a lot of effort
    > on the /etc directory to make the system look even vaguely like a
    > locked door. Also, Slackware (for one) typically enables a bunch of
    > (mostly unnecessary) daemons such as the sun RPC mapper (fine if you
    > use the stuff - but who does these days? Maybe I'm just in a different
    > environment).
    > What I'd really like to see is a secure minimal base system, which you
    > install before any "distribution". The put the distribution on top,
    > according to the machine's function. For example, a 'server'
    > distribution
    > would get samba and squid (okay, I'm biased ;p ), and a 'workstation'
    > distribution may get some nice KDE stuff.
    > I'm also sick of the distributions getting as bloated as an NT
    > installation -
    > I use maybe 20% of the *essential do not attempt to remove* binaries
    > regularly - and about 40% I never use ; sure they're there for
    > historical
    > reasons, and I can accept that as a good excuse for a Solaris or HP-UX
    > system, but this IS the 90's and we are talking about a system which
    > hopefully is progressive ... after all, if you need backwards
    > compatibility to that extent, why not get a 'back-compat' package ...?
    > Linux has a very promising future IMHO, but unfortunately it can't cut
    > it as an effective answer to MS at the moment (much as I hate to say
    > so).
    > Although as a server it far outstrips anything else (also IMNSHO), it
    > does lack the ease of use required for a small company (without a
    > dedicated administrator) to use it. Also, the lack of application
    > support for critical tasks (such as, a decent wordprocessor or
    > spreadsheet - and I mean graphical and preferably free [leech]) makes it
    > ineffective as a workstation.
    > But back to the original topic...
    > I think debian (or slackware or redhat or whatever) could be greatly
    > improved if there existed a base, miminal, secure 'generic Linux'
    > system - say just a kernel, X Server (not manager, etc), libraries and
    > essential tools like a compiler and some scripting language (which
    > naturally would have to be PERL [I'm biased here too]). The compiler
    > of course would be optional ... but the idea being that there would
    > exist a standard base which all distributions would work off. The
    > specific package install method, binaries offered and interface would
    > then be package dependant ... but there would be some sort of guarentee
    > that all systems had certain binaries and certain tools/compilers/
    > scripters that were common.
    > Anyway, I'm waffling now ... okay, had my say, time to get back to
    > work (anyone know how to get Qt to compile on HP-UX when the X headers
    > are missing...? ;( )
    > Twylite
    > -
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